I tried not to worry when daylight arrived Monday morning and Emma and Ronnie were nowhere to be found. FD and I both called out into the woodlands, hoping they would hear us and come running. After checking all of the usual spots we found them in this last weekend, we gave up. FD went on to work and asked me to text him if they showed up. So, after FD drove out, I donned a heavier jacket and took a quick walk along the buggy path and out a short way on the path to the pecan orchard, but I still did not see them. Finally, I headed back up the slope and into the house to finish cleaning up breakfast and get started with a few indoor tasks. Hopefully, I thought, the kids would show up at some point.
I love my big kitchen window in front of the sink. While I wash dishes, I am often entertained by squirrels and birds, and occasionally I see Ms. Foxy going to the canyon, on her way back from a hunting trip in town. But this morning as I began washing breakfast dishes, I was suddenly alarmed at seeing Emma running at top speed right past the window, heading east to the front of the house! My first thought was that something was chasing her. I looked to the west from where she had come up the slope, but I did not see anything. My second thought was, “Where was Ronnie?”. They were always together. So I ran to the back porch just in time to see Ronnie coming up the hill at a rather fast pace as well. I looked out in the canyon but saw nothing chasing them. I gazed off down the pecan orchard path and then back the other direction to our own woodlands – and there was Emma again! She came running through the woods, and then I saw Ronnie cut past the pool and dart down the slope trying to head her off. And suddenly, it hit me: Those two were not in any sort of danger – they were playing chase!
Realizing that “playing chase” was going on right before my eyes, I ran back into the house and collected my iPhone, just barely managing to get the last of their chasing recorded. Unfortunately, I missed getting the best of Ronnie’s performance of high leaps and jumps. And Emma was most eloquent at pivoting and turning, making it all look smooth and precise. But what made me extremely happy, was to know that, while this might just be a fun activity for the two of them, it was also helping to develop their agility and speed, two things that were important for building stamina and enhancing skills they would need in the wild. I was impressed with what I saw, and intrigued to hear Emma grunting while she searched for Ronnie after the chase. I had heard does grunt when calling their fawns to nurse, and I had heard bucks grunt loudly when in pursuit of a doe during the rut, but it surprised me that Emma would grunt to call Ronnie. And Emma’s call is very different from Daisy deer’s. I always called Daisy’s grunt a little “buzzing” noise, but Emma’s has a deeper pitch.
One thing I did manage to record, was the panting that followed when they came up to me after they had exhausted themselves. They gathered around me with bright eyes, open mouths, and tongues flailing as if to say, “Did you see us Mama? Did you see our jumps?” Mine were better than Ronnie’s. Did ya see us mom? Did ya? Huh? Huh? We ran really fast! Did ya see us?”
Finally, after much panting, followed by a few nibbles of greens and a big drink of water at the wildlife tub down below the slope, they both folded their legs and had a nice rest in the shade, right in front of the tub! Later that morning, they got up and followed me as I drove the electric buggy to the pecan orchard, where they did more exploring, grazing, and running and leaping while I worked gathering limbs and branches. I managed a few photographs of them on the move in the wide-open spaces of the orchard.
When it was time to head back home at the end of the day, the two of them dragged along behind the buggy. In the bottom below our house, they stopped for water and to nibble on some clover for a bit. The next time I saw them, they were out in front of the house, nosing around in their deer pen and having a little alfalfa. And just before dark, FD noticed them bedded down in the pasture near the blackberry bushes. I was happy to know they returned home where they felt safe. And I was glad they took plenty of time to rest. After all, building good strength and stamina requires plenty of recuperation. And these two seem to know just what they need… so I need not worry, right?
© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…